Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Heriberto Flores was born in Guerrero, México; he was an only child, and grew up with his mother and maternal grandmother; at the age of eight, he began working in agriculture; he traveled to Mexico City, México in 1956 and enrolled in the Bracero Program; as a bracero, he worked in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas picking cantaloupes, carrots, cherries, cotton, grapes, olives, peaches, sugar beets, tomatoes, and watermelons.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Flores recalls growing up in Guerrero, México, and working in agriculture from the age of eight to help his family; he remembers traveling to Mexico City, México in 1956, and enrolling in the Bracero Program; additionally, he describes the hiring process, and his experience at the contracting center in Mexico City, México; he worked in California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas picking cantaloupes, carrots, cherries, cotton, grapes, olives, peaches, sugar beets, tomatoes, and watermelons; furthermore, he details what the daily activities on the farms were like, the housing they had, and the treatment they received from foremen; he also explains how their contracts worked, how they could get extensions, and the complaints many braceros had about the bad food they received; moreover, he recounts what braceros did on weekends, and the gambling and games they took part in; he concludes by stating the benefits of having been a bracero, the things he liked and disliked about the United States, and the reasons why he decided to return to México.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Listen to the Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with Heriberto Flores Sotelo by Violeta Domínguez, 2002, "Interview no. 1034," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.